Teton County flu shot clinics begin today

People looking to get a flu shot may visit the Teton County Health Department at 460 E. Pearl Ave. anytime between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Mondays and Fridays until Nov. 15.

Update, 9:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 4 — The Teton County Health Department has changed the offerings at this morning's flu clinic at the Senior Center of Jackson Hole due to a lack of high-dose flu vaccines.

The clinic was meant to start at 10:30 a.m. and include quadrivalent flu shots and high-dose ones, intended for people over 65 years of age. However, the department was unable to find a supply of high-dose shots in time.

"No one in the county has them," Public Health Response Coordinator Rachel Wheeler said.

Wheeler said Health Department staff would still head to the Senior Center this morning, but with only the quadrivalent shots.

Original story, Thursday Oct. 3 — Flu season is coming, and if you’re 65 years or older you’re at higher risk of contracting the bug.

Wanting to ensure that all Teton County seniors receive a flu shot before the height of the season, Teton County Health will hold a flu clinic from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday at the Senior Center of Jackson Hole.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s crucial for those at or past retirement age to get a flu shot.

“While flu seasons can vary in severity, during most seasons people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease,” the CDC website says.

The CDC estimates that in recent years, 70% to 90% of flu-related deaths and 50% to 70% of flu-related hospitalizations involved people 65 or older.

Teton County Health will have high-dose shots while supplies last as well as the quadrivalent flu shot, which protects against four strains of the virus. The quadrivalent shot will also be available for people younger than 65 and anyone who doesn’t want the high-dose shot.

The department accepts Medicare and other insurance, as long as people bring their insurance cards, and same-day cash payment.

Another disease that poses an elevated health risk for seniors during fall and winter is pneumonia. The department will also have pneumonia vaccines at the Senior Center flu shot clinic. Check with your providers about which is needed, as one for infants, children and adults protects against 13 strains while the one generally administered to seniors guards against 23 strains.

Contact Tom Hallberg at 73

2-7079 or thallberg@jhnewsandguide.com.

Tom Hallberg covers a little bit of everything, from skiing to long-form feature stories. A Teton Valley, Idaho, transplant by way of Portland and Bend, Oregon, he spends his time outside work writing fiction, splitboarding and climbing.

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